Have you ever heard of Surströmming? If not, buckle up! It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s a fascinating dive into the world of fermented foods. In this article, we’ll embark on a world tour, comparing the notorious Surströmming with other fermented foods from across the globe.First stop, Sweden, the birthplace of Surströmming. This Swedish delicacy is a type of fermented Baltic herring that’s known for its pungent smell. After a special fermentation process, the result is a fish with a distinctively sour, salty, and extraordinarily aromatic profile. And when we say “aromatic”, we mean it might just be the stinkiest food in the world! But don’t be discouraged, Surströmming is much loved and even celebrated in Sweden, with special festivals and a Surströmming challenge for the adventurous.Now, let’s compare this Swedish curiosity with other fermented delights around the globe.Heading towards East Asia, we encounter Kimchi, the Korean superstar of fermented foods. Made from cabbage, radish, or cucumber, Kimchi is fermented with a mix of chili pepper, garlic, ginger, and a variety of seasonings. While not as odoriferous as Surströmming, Kimchi packs a punch in flavor and is a staple in Korean cuisine.Next, we visit the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan, where Natto waits. Natto, made by fermenting soybeans, has a strong smell and a sticky, slimy texture that can be off-putting to some. Despite these characteristics, it’s a breakfast staple in Japan, and is believed to have many health benefits.From Japan, let’s travel to Europe, where Sauerkraut reigns supreme. Sauerkraut, or “sour cabbage”, is a beloved staple in Germany and other parts of Europe. It’s simply made by fermenting finely cut cabbage, resulting in a tangy, crunchy condiment that pairs perfectly with sausages. Unlike Surströmming, Sauerkraut’s smell is mild and its flavor is tangy rather than overwhelmingly sour.Across the Atlantic, we find ourselves in the Americas, where fermented foods like Sourdough and Kombucha have been gaining popularity. Sourdough, a type of bread made from fermented dough, has a slightly sour taste, while Kombucha, a fermented tea, has a sweet-tart flavor with a hint of effervescence.All these foods, including Surströmming, undergo fermentation, a process where microorganisms like bacteria and yeast convert sugars into other compounds, such as alcohol or acids, giving these foods their characteristic tastes and smells. Beyond taste, fermented foods like Surströmming, Kimchi, and Natto, offer health benefits, particularly for gut health.